While the American arcade has been in a slow decline for years now, the allure of being able to some cheap knock-off stuffed animal for a mere 50 cents is still a reason to seek out the odd arcade prize grab machine. For those who want to up the odds in their favor a little bit, British science show Braniac (shown in the U.S. on G4) has the goods.
The key to beating the game is careful study. Apparently, these crane games are set up to only grip hard enough to win every so often, and at regular intervals. By standing nearby and counting out the number of losses between each success, you can determine just when to step in and go for the kill. Of course, you still have to have good aim and a steady hand to pick up the plush, but playing at the right time will maximize your chances and your payoff.
It's unclear whether this method will work on every variety crane game or if some with more randomized settings are impervious (any arcade insiders have the scoop? Leave a comment). Regardless, your father feels that if you spent less time watching crane games and more time going out and looking for a job instead, you wouldn't have to worry about saving a few dollars on a stupid plush toy. And call your mother! She worries about you!